Greens warn against giving 'blank cheque' bailout to airlines
State aid for airlines must be conditional on the airline industry improving working conditions and making a credible contribution towards fighting climate change, the Green Party has said.
In a letter sent to the Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, Ciarán Cuffe MEP and several of his Green colleagues in the European Parliament urged the Commission to ensure a number of conditions are set when Member States agree on state aid for airlines.
Today Ciarán Cuffe said: "In return for taxpayers’ money, there must be some form of quid pro quo. Together with Green colleagues, I have asked the Commission to ensure airlines reduce their emissions, end precarious employment practices and respect EU passenger right legislation when receiving state aid.
"While these measures should already have been in place, now that airlines are asking for billions in state aid, they must in return agree to the building of a greener and fairer aviation industry.
"We certainly can’t go back to business as usual. For example, airlines pay no tax on aviation fuel, which puts them at a significant competitive advantage over railway companies. This often makes more environmentally sound journeys more expensive. Airlines can offer long-distance tickets at knockdown prices with no regard for the true environmental cost."